A quick post today--I'm swamped with catching up on things in the writing world after being inundated with work in the teaching world. Here's what I've been working on this weekend:
1) I don't care what anyone else says, writing groups and critiques are helpful. When I can't think about my own work on minute longer, working on a friend's fantastic manuscript keeps me in writing mode and makes it easier to go back to my own work.
2) Queries are hard. After awhile, it's difficult to tell whether or not your story even makes sense when you condense it to a paragraph summary. However, your hook line is a great place to inject some voice that would otherwise be cut for space.
3) Synopses are hard. (see above; replace paragraph with page) This helped, though. In the end, what helped the most for me was to remember that there are two plots to the book: external and internal. Most people focus on the external plot of their book in the synopsis (what happened). But the internal plot (how what happened changed the character) is equally important to get across in the synopsis. My story isn't just about kids discovering magic and doing stuff with it--it's also about how the girl learns how to gain confidence and accept herself. Both are part of the story; both need to be in the synopsis.
4) All agents should have a web page. Just sayin'.
...So, I'm mostly caught up in teaching life, have a good stopping point in writing life...oh, yeah, I've got house life yet! I better go wash those dishes (finally). We are, after all, out of forks.